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IINNOVATIONIST

Creativity is the future of value creation and human vitality. Innovationist exists to liberate the creativity of every person in the world. 

The idea: Innovationist is a platform for capturing, organizing, and accelerating ideas that work.

The Problem: The problem is that there is no effective tool to make meaningful connections between the ideas of your team. The solutions that do exist are meetings, slack conversations, email, ideation, whiteboards, etc. Companies have to develop new ideas to survive, but no one has automated the process to access the full breadth of the company for these ideas.

From a real prospective user:

“Joel – As we discussed, One of my biggest personal challenges with innovative thinking is organization. Good ideas don’t come necessarily easy, but relatively so compared to my ability to organize them, prioritize them, and ultimately mature them into something that can be executable. Innovationist sounds like a tool that can allow me to organize my efforts into a single, visually accessible, “world” rather than the disparate swirl of post-its, note pads, emails, pinterest boards, sketchbooks, and images I have scattered about my work and personal life and every stopping point in between. I want to spend the time I have being focused and have the ability to pick right up on a vein of thought I may have had to put down days, weeks, months, or even years ago. I also want my thinking transparent if needed, to show progress, collaborate with trusted allies, and prove progress. I am stoked to be a Beta if possible.” – Steven Rainville, Director of Innovation at Olsen Kundig Architects

Innovationist software helps teams:

  1. share and discuss ideas for new products and services in an iterative manner. Our AI will help teams quickly develop their ideas to become more desirable, feasible, and viable. (imagine a slack interface)
  2. conduct and collect research, and create user personas (imagine a pinterest + dropbox interface)
  3. develop strategy using a canvas-like interface (imagine a leanstack interface)
  4. implement a suite of innovation tools to make ideas tangible
  5. package and export new ideas and strategies into already existing project management platforms like Asana and Basecamp

User Story Overview:  Jennifer is a product manager with a large insurance company. She signed up for Innovationist to streamline and organize her creative thinking. After confirming her email, she will set a password and see a dashboard where she will have the ability to (1) edit her profile, (2) create new ideas to share with her team, and (3) create a research library.

While grabbing her morning coffee on her way to the office, she remembers something a friend said about young people not having life insurance because they feel invisible to tragedy. This thought triggers an idea: "how might we create a life insurance package that is tailored for those under 30?" She pulls out her smartphone and opens the Innovationist app, types in the new idea, and invites a few colleagues to discuss the thought with her. The team adds the idea to their dashboards and the conversation ensues; concrete thoughts have already begun to develop by the time Jennifer reaches her desk. Later that morning she comes across a blog on Medium written by a young professional titled "Lifestyle Insurance." The blog outlines the pitfalls of being young and the hard lessons learned in your 20s, the author speaks to his desire to be able to recover quickly from youthful mistakes and Jennifer thinks that the sentiment could be useful in framing her new idea. She uses the Innovationist browser plugin to save the article to her research library and comments on it, her teammates see her comments and a conversation begins in which they identify a new market opportunity.

As Jennifer and her team continue to dialogue and add to the research library, the Innovationist creative AI is auto-filling her strategy canvas, prompting the team with questions, aggregating available resources online,  and developing key baselines the team needs to know whether or not to keep going with the idea.

With the click of a button (or a voice command), the creative AI packages the project as a summary and sends a notice to the division manager for review – he approves the project for implementation. 

With one click, the project is packaged an exported directly into the firm's project management platform.

Value Hypothesis:  Fortune 5000 companies are willing to pay for a scalable digital tool that facilitates creative thinking.

Market Size: SOM of $3.2B, estimated with 4 million users at $800 LTV per user. I believe this is conservative and will only continue to grow. 

*Our largest competitor Spiget boasts 4.5m users... but this market will be exploding in the next 5 years.

Why did I start this company? What every company fears losing and needs is a competitive edge. Historically, this edge came from process optimization. Once the market was saturated with best practices and commodity products not differing in quality, advertising and brand building became the next primary channel for value creation. But today creative thinking is critical to the future of human vitality and value creation. I believe this is true in business, education, healthcare, and energy. Every major sector is going through a renaissance, this shift will require that we rethink everything we’ve taken for granted in the last century of business – to do this effectively companies will need more than email, whiteboards, sticky notes, slack threads, Evernote libraries, and water cooler conversations, they will need a platform that optimally scales creative efforts to think about the future. Ideas for new product and service offerings will need to be cultivated, vetted, and implemented with unprecedented efficiency. I’m no Elon Musk, but if I can create a tool that exponentially increases the likelihood that the next Thomas Edison or Einstein gets their ideas out into the world and those ideas change industries, sectors, economies, and culture, then I’ll have fulfilled my calling.

Secondly, in my experience as an innovation and design strategy consultant with fortune 2000 companies, I know that good ideas are not lacking. What is missing is the process to actually access and develop those ideas in an effective and efficient manner. 99% of my consulting is drawing out the thinking that already exists, helping to organize it, and assisting in prioritization. Witnessing the invigoration and impact this work has on companies has been the biggest privilege of my career, and I want to scale this impact to as many companies as possible.

Current Progress: Our small team has spent the last year prototyping and user testing. We've had a lot of great feedback, and are now working on launching our beta.  

Competition: I've only discovered these competitors in the last 3 months, though I've been developing the vision for this product over the last year. So far, none of these competitors are integrating thought leadership and content marketing into their strategy for growth. With my background in brand strategy and marketing, along with my connections at the Stanford d.School and IDEO, along with my relationships with other innovation thought leaders like Warren Berger, our credibility and thought leadership could quickly surpass that of the competition.

(these are not hotlinked so these competitors can't easily track the referral)

www.yambla.com - Yambla is a brand new Belgian company getting into the innovation management space. 
www.reverscore.com - A brand new company without a launched product.
www.brightidea.com - An established innovation management platform that focuses on the numbers.
www.spigit.com - The largest in the market, Spigit is a leader in Saas innovation platforms.
www.qmarkets.net - A newer company gaining traction in the innovation management space.

One major differentiation is that Innovationist will be utilizing machine learning and AI to augment creative thinking. Innovationist will have powerful backend intelligence to aggregate data available via search to provide instant idea validity indicators. 

Secondly, a major feature of the Innovationist platform will be the strategy canvas – this is where ideation turns into planning. Facilitating ideation and validation is important, but if there is no manner in which these ideas can be translated to something actionable, there's not much value in them.

*See how Ericsson has embraced innovation management in this great overview.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson